Arguably more than anything else technology dictates how we live. We are on the precipice of great change and hopefully it will be for the better.
So what are the top ten 21st century technologies, in my view, that will change the world the most?
10. Hybrid planes, maglev trains, and flying automobiles
A revolution in transportation will likely happen as nations develop, and billions of people and goods need to be efficiently moved. Aircraft, being the biggest energy hog will have to undergo a major increase in efficiency. Hybrid or even electric airplanes may be created in the not too distant future. Trains being the most efficient to move products will likely increase in usage. But the real question is: Where is my flying car?
9. Automated intelligent robotic systems (memristor, connectomics, and quantum computing)
Artificial intelligence and robot assistants have been long promised. That promise is beginning to be realized. The biggest challenge today is getting the price down. With new electronic breakthroughs like memristors and quantum computing we will see a whole new line up of amazing technologies developed. Connectomics will enable us to better model neural networks and turn theory into product.
8. Universal communicator
With Google translations constantly improving, with Google voice evolving, and with mobile apps being developed and an alarming rate, we will likely see the day soon, where we can pop a Bluetooth on and talk to anyone in the world regardless of what language they speak. This will circumvent the need for massive and expensive multi-language education. The world will be united like never before.
7. Brain controlled interconnected interfaces
Many new brain feed back devices have already been created. As new mobile products are created even a mere emotional feedback will do wonders for custom evolving interfaces. Your devices will better adapt to your wishes and avoid states of frustration. Interactive interfaces will become more personal.
6. Real time mobile interactive information networks
As mobile devices acquire more senses many people will become publishers of experience. In real time information about a particular place and event will have multi view points integrated by multilayered web systems. We will be able to see, hear, feel, and analyze events like never before.
5. Hydrogen fusion energy systems
Making an economical hydrogen fusion plant may be far fetched for some but the implications are enormous. Hydrogen fusion can produce several times more energy output than nuclear fission and is much cleaner.
4. Cheap desalination and clean water systems
Human population will grow and so will the need for a new clean water solution. Clean water is necessary for a healthy population plus reduces disease and illness drastically. The shear volume and real time usage globally will require us to use ocean water. There will be a drive for a cheap desalination process.
3. Ultracapacitor, the super battery
Whether it is the Ultracapacitor or some other new battery technology a revolution in energy storage will change everything. From electric cars that can be rapidly charged and have very long distance capabilities, to mobile devices that have amazing longevity, the possibilities are breathtaking. Another great use is efficient electric storage for solar, wave and wind power; so we will not have to worry about the variable conditions of nature as much.
2. Solar driven hydrogen/electric energy system
Artificial photosynthesis may offer the greatest solution for clean energy. Capturing solar energy during the day and storing it as hydrogen offers both an efficient clean energy source as well as a reliable storage solution. Hydrogen is a great energy carrier and can be distributed around the globe and stored indefinitely. The process of combining solar and hydrogen is a scientific dream that may be soon realized.
1. Cheap high production graphene and carbon super materials
I my opinion the single greatest invention of the 21st century will be mass production graphene and other super carbon materials. This is because every technology mentioned in this article could benefit from such a breakthrough. It is my contention that the 21st century will be called the carbon age. Carbon based nanotechnology has the potential of revolutionizing the information, transportation, and energy industries.